The thing I love about Werewolf By Night, the lastest MCU addition adapted from supernatural comics from Marvel, is that it firmly cements that the superhero genre is extremely adaptable. Depending on the character, creators can take different approaches while telling a story. Ed Brubaker leaned more into espionage during his run on Captain America, resulting in the stellar Winter Soldier storyline. And Teen Titans Academy saw the Teen Titans become teachers for a new generation of heroes, bringing a new coming-of-age story to life. With Werewolf By Night, director Michael Giacchino leans into the world of horror as he puts werewolf Jack Russell (Gael Garcia Bernal) in the middle of a cabal of monster hunters with gory results.
Werewolf by Night also introduced other horror characters such as the living pile of plants Man-Thing and monster hunter extraordinaire Elsa Bloodstone (Laura Donnelly). While the Marvel Cinematic Universe has slowly been introducing more supernatural beings from their comics in the form of Doctor Strange and Moon Knight, there are plenty of other hellish heroes who would be a perfect fit for the screen. In that spirit, here are five supernatural comics that deserve the Werewolf by Night treatment.
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. (DC Comics)
Frankeinstein’s monster is perhaps the most compelling part of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Here’s a being who was stitched together from corpses and given life against his will, shunned by nearly every living being he meets, and denied companionship by his creator. Plenty of writers have expanded upon that and Jeff Lemire was no exception. Lemire, alongside Alberto Ponticelli, launched Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. during DC Comics’ New 52 era. True to its title, the comic featured Frankenstein’s monster as an agent of the Super Human Advanced Defense Executive, battling all manner of supernatural threats. He was helped by the Creature Commandos, a group of supernatural misfits that included the immortal mummy Khalis and the werewolf Griffith. Given the overwhelmingly positive response to The Suicide Squad, an Agent of S.H.A.D.E. film would be a slam dunk for WB and DC Films – especially given that both properties share an ensemble element and tackle the weirder side of comics.
Strange Academy (Marvel)
One of the best parts about Doctor Strange’s appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that filmmakers have figured out that the Master of the Mystic Arts works better when playing off of other characters. That’s especially true in the comics, which is why Strange Academy works so well. Created by Skottie Young and Humberto Ramos, the series focuses on a school for magically gifted teenagers founded by Strange. While that might sound familiar to fans of a certain Boy Who Lived, this series takes some unexpected turns. For example, one of the students is Doyle Dormammu, the son of Strange’s archnemesis Dormammu. Other mystical Marvel heroes including the X-Men’s Magik and the Scarlet Witch show up as teachers, providing lessons that go far beyond the usual curriculum. A Strange Academy series on Disney+ could capitalize on the current fantasy boom. And if it really wants to make an oomph, Wong (Benedict Wong) should be one of the teachers. As She-Hulk succinctly put it, “Everyone loves Wong.”
Rogue Sun (Image Comics)
Another coming-of-age supernatural comic that’s been making a splash is Image Comics’ Rogue Sun. It tells the story of juvenile delinquent turned superhero Dylan Siegel. Dylan learns that his estranged father Marcus Bell was the fiery knight known as Rogue Sun and that he’s inherited Marcus’ mantle. But that’s not all. Whenever Dylan suits up, he’s haunted by the ghost of Marcus and he’s not happy about it. Father issues combined with fights against vampire-werewolf hybrids and soul-sucking spirits make for a unique superhero story. And said story would be perfect for animation—especially given that fellow Massiveverse title Radiant Black has dabbled in that field to great effect.
Once And Future (BOOM! Studios)
The legend of King Arthur has inspired many stories, and Once and Future is one of the more grisly takes. A group of British nationalists resurrects Arthur in order to claim their land, but the Once and Future King has other plans. Plans that take a decidedly apocalyptic turn. It’s up to Duncan McGuire and his grandmother Bridgette to stop Arthur’s reign of terror. Thanks to Kieron Gillen (Immortal X-Men, A.X.E.: Judgment Day) and Dan Mora (Go Go Power Rangers, Batman/Superman: World’s Finest), a new and terrifying version of the Arthurian legend springs into life. That legend would be perfect for a television series, especially as more films are starting to branch out from the usual depiction of Arthurian legend.
The Astounding Wolf-Man (Image Comics/Skybound)
It’s only fitting that the last series on this list was about an actual werewolf. Gary Hampton becomes the Astounding Wolf-Man after a lycanthrope attack gives him the power to transform into a werewolf. With the help of his vampire mentor Zechariah, Gary moonlights as a vigilante and fights all manner of threats – supernatural or otherwise. Writer Robert Kirkman and artist Jason Howard flip the werewolf mythos on its head – here’s someone who likes being a werewolf, can control it, and wants to do good with it. Wolf-Man even found himself facing off against Invincible! Given that their universes are linked, it would be amazing if Wolf-Man either showed up in future episodes of Invincible or received his own animated series.
These are just a handful of supernatural comics that could make a great TV show/movie. The superhero genre isn’t showing any signs of slowing down soon, and letting the more unorthodox characters into the spotlight could be a well-needed shot in the arm. I definitely encourage you all to read these comics as well; adaptation or no adaptation they’re still compelling stories.
Werewolf by Night is now available to stream on Disney+. You can buy these comics and more with our ComiXology affiliate link.
Born and raised in Texas, Collier “CJ” Jennings was introduced to geekdom at an early age by his father, who showed him Ultraman and Star Trek: The Next Generation. On his thirteenth birthday, he received a copy of Giant Size X-Men #1 and dove head first into the realm of pop culture, never looking back. His hobbies include: writing screenplays and essays, watching movies and television, card games/RPG’s, and cooking. He currently resides in Seattle.